|lets see, since my last entry-well up the north island of NZ, to Tongariro nat. park, an awesome 17 kilometer walk, through active volcanic landscape, much of it used as Mordor in lord of the rings, I even hiked part way up 'Mt Doom" and I have collected rock samples, as per my usual travel habits! I was very ill prior to the 'crossing' 3 days in the tiny comunity of National Park, but recovered along with the terrible weather to do the walk. Awesome! like visiting Mars. Prior to that a visit to windy Wellington, and a tour of the NZ parliament, and archives to see the treaty of Waitangi, the founding document of modern NZ. Took the train to Auckland, then up to Kaitaia, and Cape Reinga, famous for its lighthouse, the subject of many artsy posters around the world. Its an amazing spot, where the pacific and tasman sea clash. Huge sand dunes and deserted pristine beach. I headed on a quest to the town of Ahipara, home to Shipwrecks bay, a famous surf break said to be better than the revered 'Raglan' which I have surfed on a prior trip. Unfortunately, Ahipara was rainy and flat, yet I met some nice people-its definately worth a return stay sometime. In Auckland I went to Waiheke island and to Piha beach, another great surf spot and backdrop for a number of movies. Suprisingly quiet and ecologicaly sound given its proximity to Auckland, it to is worth a return stay. On the 28th I left Nz with warm feelings again, about this amazing nation-New Zealand, Kia Ora!